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Nearly $6,000 More Than ‘09

By Staff | Jun 22, 2010

RELAY FOR LIFE – Team members began walking laps around Courthouse Square in Emmetsburg following the Survivor Lap of Relay For Life on Saturday. So far, the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society has raised $43,448.11—about $5,600 more than last year’s amount. More photos from the day can be found on Pages 5 and 6 of today’s Reporter. – Lori Hall photo

You couldn’t have asked for a better day for the 14th Annual Palo Alto County Relay For Life activities. After last year’s rain-soaked event, this year’s warm sun, gentle breeze, and calm weather was a welcome change. Activities were held at Courthouse Square in Emmetsburg on Saturday, June 19. From noon to dusk, members of seven teams took turns walking around the square to raise awareness and money for research into a cure for a disease that affects so many lives.

According to Deb Harris, Chairman of Palo Alto County Relay For Life, a preliminary count shows that $43,448.11 was raised this year.

“We still have more money coming in so that amount will change,” Harris shared. “We had a very good turnout, and, so far, have raised about $5,600 more than last year.”

In 2009, the cancer fundraiser raised more than $38,000. Proceeds from Relay For Life will support the American Cancer Society’s cancer research, services to patients and their families, education programs, and advocacy activities that have made a healthy future possible for so many.

Following tradition, Relay For Life opened with members of the VFW Post #2295 displaying the flags and providing a 21-gun salute. Sarah Matthews sang the “National Anthem” and Deb Walsh, emcee, welcomed the participants.

The 2010 Team of Hope was then introduced and recognized. Members of the 2010 Team of Hope include Jo Flint, Lois Wegener, Carroll Tindall, Mary Abels, Mary Brennan, Deb Walsh, Bob Gilman, and Katie Jo Kaul.

Each of the survivors was presented with a stained glass butterfly, crafted by Lee Beem. Then, the Team of Hope and other cancer survivors lead the first lap of Relay For Life as part of the Survivor Lap.

Seven teams participated in this year’s event. Teams were: Cure Crusaders, ZT Crew, JLB Fishing Buddies, Prairie States, KJ Candles, Team All-Stars, and Palo Alto County 4-H.

During Relay For Life, JLB Fishing Buddies was the team that raised the most money—$8,704. The individual who raised the most money was Tiffany Harris with $1,196.

“We just had an awesome turnout,” said Michelle Theesfeld, Sponsorship/Donations Committee member for Palo Alto County Relay For Life. “We are greatly appreciative to all those businesses who gave gifts and donations for Relay For Life.”

Sponsors included: Gold – Mansmith Pharmacy & Northwest Iowa Compounding, Iowa Lakes Electric, and Ruthven State Bank Employees; Silver – Marge and Larry McAllister, Palo Alto County Hospital, Hughes Pharmacy, Swift Air, and Iowa Trust & Savings Bank; Bronze – Joyce & Joyce-Alesch Funeral Home, John Kajewski, Food Pride, West Bend International, West Iowa Bank, and Kauffman Builders, LLC; Activity – Mu Mus, Lakeland, MaxYield, AGP, Cylinder Camper Sales, Rack Shack, Farmers State Bank, Kerber, Wild Rose Casino, Building Center, A Heavenly Celebration, The Cornerstone Pub, Zimmerman Dentist Office, West Bend Ford, Hughes, Brennan & Wirtz, Cylinder Fire Department, Floors on Main, and Cornbelt Co-op; and Special Donations – Hallett Materials, Hardware Hank, Classic Quilters, Lee Beem, Emmetsburg Publishing Democrat & Reporter, Wellness Center, I-Wireless, Creative Stitches, and Fareway.

At the conclusion of the evening, volunteers lit candles inside decorated paper sacks along the sidewalks surrounding Courthouse Square as part of the Luminary Ceremony. The luminaries, personalized with names and messages, honored those who have survived cancer and those who have lost the fight to cancer.

A PowerPoint presentation of photos taken of the day’s events was shown, and Reverend Monsignor Michael D. Sernett from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Graettinger spoke. The Reverend offered a prayer and encouraged those present to keep walking, keep fighting, and keep praying.

Everyone took to the sidewalks to participate in the Remembrance Lap in honor of lives claimed by cancer.